Euro: seven new qualified for the eighth, including France … without playing!

In addition to the Blues and the English, Switzerland, Sweden, and the Czech Republic also have their tickets in their pockets, all guaranteed to be at least better third given the results of Monday night. And in total, that’s already eleven places out of sixteen already reserved for the rest of the tournament, while three of the six groups have yet to deliver their verdict on Tuesday and Wednesday.

In Group B, behind the untouchable Belgium victorious over Finland (2-0), it was Denmark who qualified by strangling Russia 4-1, after two inaugural defeats. The Scandinavian team will face Wales in Amsterdam on Saturday.

A great reward for courageous and deserving Danes, who had been shaken as soon as they entered the competition by the cardiac arrest in the middle of a game of their playmaker Christian Eriksen, finally operated on and released from hospital on Friday.

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In Group C, Austria tamed Ukraine 1-0 to clinch their first qualification for the knockout phase of the Euro, winning thanks to Christoph Baumgartner who emerged from a corner (21st) … before having to give up his place after a shock to the head which raised fears of a new case of concussion.

– Tears of Pandev –

On Saturday evening, the Austrians will challenge Italy at Wembley Stadium in London … An enclosure where the head of the Italian government Mario Draghi hopes that the Euro final will not be organized on July 11 in the face of the push of the Delta variant of Covid-19 in Great Britain, which promises a rather cold reception to the Azzurri this weekend!

In parallel, in Amsterdam, the Netherlands did not detail against North Macedonia (3-0), already eliminated, with a goal from the neo- Memphis Depay (24th) and a double from the neo-Parisian Georginio Wijnaldum (51st, 58th). The match was marked by the tearful exit of Macedonian captain Goran Pandev, his country’s sports legend, who was in his last selection at 37.

Result: Ukraine (3 pts) and Finland (3 pts) finished third in their respective groups and will have to wait to see if they are drafted.

In the small game of calculations, Monday’s results made five happy among the other selections.

Already sure to be at least third in Pool F before their last match Wednesday against Portugal, here are the French (4 pts) guaranteed to get one of the four best third places.

This also applies to Switzerland (4 pts, which finished 3rd in group A), Sweden (4 pts, group E), opposed to Poland on Wednesday, and the Czech Republic and England (4 pts each, group E) D), who will face each other with much less pressure on Tuesday at Wembley – far from the controversy sparked by the isolation of two English players after England-Scotland on Friday and a positive Covid-19 case on the Scottish side.

– Draghi sows doubt on Wembley –

Wembley is also causing controversy: the mythical London stadium, supposed to host the semi-finals (July 6-7) and the final (July 11) of the Euro, has been called into question for several days in the face of the fear of the Delta variant, more contagious, which circulates in Great Britain.

In fact, sources close to the organizers have confirmed in recent days that UEFA is considering moving these matches to Budapest if necessary.

And Italian Council President Mario Draghi assured in Berlin on Monday that he was counting on “to ensure that the final of the European Championship does not take place in a country where contagions are growing rapidly“.

Mr. Draghi, however, did not mention an alternative to Wembley, while Italy is one of the host countries of this Euro in an unprecedented format, disseminated in eleven cities in eleven countries.

However, speaking Monday morning, a few hours before the head of government, the president of the Italian federation Gabriele Gravina had ruled out the idea of ​​a relocation of the Wembley final.

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I categorically reject the hypothesis of a final 4 in Rome, as well as a possible trip to Budapest. I believe that there are no conditions and prerequisites to be able to imagine an organization in Budapest“, said Gravina, member of the UEFA executive committee, according to comments reported by the Italian agency Ansa.

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Frédéric Filloux is a columnist for L'Express and editor of the Monday Note.Frederic Filloux

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American political scientist George Friedman, founder of Geopolitical Futures, an analysis and forecasting site devoted to international developments.Georges Friedman (Geopolitical Futures)
 
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